The National League West has proven the most competitive division in baseball this season, as the Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants and San Diego Padres have fought tirelessly for first place since Opening Day.
At the MLB trade deadline last week, each of the NL West’s contenders made aggressive roster moves in time for a serious push at the division crown. Pitching was a primary focus for all three buyers at the deadline, and each club was linked to Max Scherzer.
San Diego nearly reached an agreement with the Washington Nationals, but the Dodgers ultimately came out on top in an absolute blockbuster trade.
All in all, each of the three World Series hopefuls made some level of a splash at the deadline and, at least in theory, emerged even stronger than they already were.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like this,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts expressed. “The NL West, there’s a lot of movement. I think the one thing you can look at with the NL West, I said this from the beginning, it’s the best division in baseball and it’s the deepest.
“Now if you’re talking about position player and pitching depth, us three ballclubs have kind of checked all the boxes.”
NL West trade deadline summary
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers have been touted as the undisputed winners of the trade deadline by acquiring Scherzer and Trea Turner in a blockbuster deal. Scherzer was arguably the most coveted player available, and the Dodgers needed an All-Star caliber arm in a rotation riddled with injury.
In addition to Scherzer, the Dodgers added another strong pitcher in Danny Duffy. Through 61 innings for the Kansas City Royals this season, Duffy is a 4-3 record with a 2.51 ERA. He’s expected to fill a swing role upon returning from a flexor strain.
San Francisco Giants
The Giants made just one move at the trade deadline, but it was a notable one as they acquired Kris Bryant in exchange for two prospects.
The versatile Bryant will likely fill in for Evan Longoria at third base while he recovers from a shoulder injury, and can easily transition to left field as well.
San Diego Padres
Blake Snell has been a tremendous disappointment in San Diego this season, and the Padres really needed to shake things up in their rotation. Though they came up short in the Scherzer sweepstakes, they did get some pitching help in acquiring Daniel Hudson from Washington.
The Padres also improved their already-stacked infield by trading for breakout phenom second baseman Adam Frazier. Between Jake Cronenworth, Frazier, Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado, the Padres’ infield now showcases four All-Stars.
Though, Tatis could be looking at season-ending surgery after his latest shoulder injury.
The Colorado Rockies didn’t surprise anyone by making moves, but rather the shock came with not completing a trade. All season long, Colorado was expected to move on from shortstop Trevor Story and fully commit to rebuilding.
The Rockies also surprisingly kept Jon Gray and Germán Márquez despite a strong market for moving pitchers.
As expected, the league-worst Arizona Diamondbacks were sellers at this year’s deadline. The Diamondbacks cleaned house and dealt pitcher Joakim Soria to Toronto, infielder Eduardo Escobar to Milwaukee and catcher Stephen Vogt to Atlanta for a haul of prospects.
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